Properties financed with loans insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) often rely on monthly assistance payments to keep things running smoothly. These Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) are subsidies that the government pays to help tenants afford to live in safe housing; in short, it’s one way to make affordable housing affordable.
The budgets for many HUD properties, especially those that are not-for-profit, are often so tight that HAP payments make up a significant and necessary part of monthly income. Unfortunately, HUD doesn’t always make these payments on time.
If your HAP subsidy has suddenly disappeared, you’re not alone. Here’s what you can do in the meantime.
Why Didn’t I Receive HAP This Month?
Let’s start with what causes this problem. Every month, HUD cuts thousands of checks to properties across the country. However, as a department of the U.S. government, they are highly limited by their budget, which may or may not be sufficient to cover its actual expenses.
When HUD begins to run low on resources, it often holds back HAP payments to certain properties until it is better able to distribute funds. When Congress approves additional resources to go to HUD, the payments will resume, the first check including the amount of missed payments.
The good news is that even if your payments stop for more than a month, HUD will rarely let HAP lapse for more than three months. If you have not received HAP in over three months, contact your regional HUD office and let them know your situation.
4 Things To Do While Waiting on HAP Funds
We understand that losing funding through HAP can be a blow to your financial stability, however, don’t be too alarmed. This happens on a regular basis and HUD recognizes the inconveniences it causes. From here, there are a number of actions you can take to get the funds your property needs.
- Notify your regional HUD office each month that you don’t receive HAP. Sometimes payments are missed due to a simple mistake. This ensures HUD knows about your issue and is therefore working toward a solution.
- Request a replacement reserve withdrawal in the amount of your missing HAP. This will help with operating costs while you wait for HAP funds to resume. Keep in mind that you must immediately pay back any withdrawals when you start to receive HAP again.
- Request additional funds from residual receipts if your replacement reserve account is low or empty. Again, you will need to pay this back when HAP resumes.
- Continue to pay bills as normal. This is especially important for bills like mortgage, utilities, and necessary health and safety repairs. When available, HUD will provide compensation for any expenses they should have covered while you weren’t receiving HAP.
As worrying as it seems, chances are you will only miss a few months of HAP if it has suddenly stopped coming. For more information or to talk to an expert in HUD auditing, contact us or give us a call. We’re here to serve.